Baysdale – the road to nowhere

Distance 1.4 miles

Max Gradient 15% (estimate)

Where do you find it?

Heading towards Kildale from Great Ayton the turn off is on your right just before you get to Kildale. The sign says Baysdale Farm and is in effect a dead end although it carries on for a short while after the farm finishing just before Baysdale Abbey.


A few people in the club have asked me when I’m going to do this climb, the problem with it though is you can’t link it in with a circuit as, from a cycling sense at least, it is a road to nowhere. Having thought about it though I decided it was worth including as it is actually quite tough and it is a very picturesque route.

If you didn’t know it was there you could be forgiven for thinking that it is just a simple farm track as the road is single track, quite rough and not properly signposted. The first section is only a few percent so you can take in the wonderful view of the crag above you marked on the OS map as ‘The Park’. The road then swings right to circumnavigate this obstacle and you have to ride over a rough bit of road over to a cattle grid on the left to get round a gated section of the road. Once over this the climb starts in anger, probably around 15% I should think although there are no gradient signs with it being such a minor road. This goes on for a couple of hundred metres and is actually quite hard going so you are relieved when you come to what looks like a slight downhill section. It’s more of a false flat though, an optical illusion and I think that you are still going uphill, but it’s only slight so you can recover from your earlier effort. All this time the road is twisting, never too severe but enough to conceal the route ahead. There then follows another little steepish section, probably around 10%, then it eases again before straightening out. Up ahead you can see a gate, this is the top, and a final short steepish section takes you there. You could go around the gate to the right over another cattle grid but the ascent is in effect done. What follows (if you want to carry on) is a short drop to the left down towards the farm and the abbey.

Unless you fancy a bit of cyclo crossing up towards Bloworth Crossing or down towards Bankfoot you now have to ride back down, make sure you take in the views first though as it’s a great vantage point. The descent is actually quite enjoyable, the surface isn’t great but you can avoid the pot holes and there are no really tight corners so you can maintain a decent speed. Remember the gate and cattle grid though and I know I always say this but beware sheep! Along with grouse they were everywhere the day I did it.


The start of the climb
The start of the climb
The first easy section
The first easy section
The steep section
The steep section
Nearly there
Nearly there
The top in sight, it's at the gate
The top in sight, it’s at the gate
The great view from the top, notice Roseberry just poking out from the right with Captain Cook's on the left
The great view from the top, notice Roseberry just poking out from the right with Captain Cook’s on the left

Our Ratings and Comments:

Paul – 6

It’s not a difficult climb as the steep section doesn’t go on for long enough and the rest, in the main, is quite gentle really. Saying that it is long at 1.4 miles and it is exposed, the day I did it was dry but quite cold and windy and at the top you are at well over 1,000 feet. And although I said that the steep section isn’t too long it will get you puffing and blowing a bit.


Note the ratings are :-

  1. Where’s the slope?
  2. No problem
  3. Big ring
  4. Spinning a gear
  5. It’s a difficult one (a homage to Sean Kelly)
  6. Light up all the boilers!
  7. Handlebar snapper
  8. Licking the front wheel
  9. Dinner plate required
  10. Fetch a nurse!

2 replies on “Baysdale – the road to nowhere”

Paul, There is a plaque on a stone pillar up there regarding a WW2 flight crew, they crash landed up there in very poor weather conditions, although they survived the crash they died of exposure before they could be located.

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